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TURA | July 15, 2019:

Even though the intensity of the rains have decreased in Meghalaya, the plain belt of West Garo Hills continue to suffer with the flood situation getting worse.

It was informed that the water is flowing above the Solairtek Nagabund embankment this evening.

The region over the past ten days or so has seen a steady rise in water levels of both the Brahmaputra and its tributary, Jinjiram now way past the danger mark. The situation is expected to worsen as the breach in the embankment means water will now have a free flow into the town of Phulbari.

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In an effort to take stock of the situation, local MLA of Phulbari constituency, SG Esmatur Mominin today went on the survey of flooded lands and was worried about the damage the increasing water levels were causing. While on the tour at about 1 pm, the water was about 2 feet below the embankment. However by the evening it covered the difference and is now overflowing.

“We are doing our utmost to help all those in distress at this time. All villages in the low lying belts have been flooded. Relief camps have been set up and GR is expected soon. However the rise in water levels are unprecedented in a long time and alarmingly it is still rising,” said Mominin during the survey.

The deputy commissioner of WGH, Ram Singh said 19 relief camps have been set up in the two affected Blocks of Demdema and Selsella with the numbers likely to increase as more people rush to stay dry on higher lands.

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Till yesterday over 150 villages across the two C&RD Blocks with about 1.10 lakhs were estimated to be affected. The numbers are expected to rise further tomorrow as more information comes in from remote sections. The administration also announced 7 days of gratuitous relief (GR) for the victims of the deluge.

While relief camps in Selsella are filling up quickly, the movement of people in Phulbari is still slow but is expected to pick up quickly as more water logs into homes.

The BDO of Demdema, PR Sangma also stated that a section of the road above the embankment may have been washed away allowing for water from the rivers to enter Phulbari.

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Announcements were also made through PA systems asking affected people to quickly reach relief camps as the situation was not conducive to them being near flood waters.

“We could see more than 2/3 of the houses that were affected but by the afternoon, those had all gone under water. The situation is scary as more water is expected as part of the back draft of the two rivers. People need to move to higher ground to protect themselves or we may just have our first few casualties if they refuse,” said a resident of Phulbari, SD Shira.

According to locals, many are unwilling to come to camps over the fear of their household properties being stolen. Some of them were even living on the roof of their houses out of fear.

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“Their life is more important and they should all get to higher ground quickly. We expect the water rise to continue for at least another two days, so it is unwise to risk their lives this way,” added another local, FR Marak.

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